There are a lot of similarities between acting and authoring. The love of storytelling, artistic nature of the endeavor, the constant threat of rejection… and reviews.
Reviews as an actor have never really bothered me. You win some, you lose some, but at the end of the day, you have to do the show the director set to the best of your ability. Altering your performance to fit a review is horribly unprofessional, so you soldier on and keep your chin up.
It’s a little different for books. The book is out there, and there really isn’t anything you can do. Unless there are semi-colons mid-word (as was found in a big name book that will remain nameless), in which case your publisher has to scramble to send a new version out into the world, the book is the book.
But you’re working so independently on your books; you could let the review pressure trickle into your work. Declaring that you’re never going to use a love triangle again, you will avoid writing on all social issues, or banning magic from your books are easy traps to fall into.
I know a lot of authors refuse to read any reviews of their work, and I get it; avoiding psychological damage is important. But unless you have someone handling all your publicity for you, sometimes you can’t avoid it because you need to make pretty Canva posts like this:
And this:So you can share your successes on social media. Sure, you have to read past the posts who think that you’re an untalented hack, but that’s what wine is for.
And sometimes you get an amazing review that spawns a new series.
But to all those actors and authors who are suffering crippled self-esteem from negative reviews, just remember to take a breath and keep going with the work you need to do. Take the good things people say and make some Canva posts.
And if you can’t take reading reviews, bribe a friend to read and pull the good bits out for you. It’ll be worth the steak you owe them.